If you haven’t figure it out by now, I’ll be complaining about the heat for the next six to eight months. Possibly more! I’ve never developed into one of those Southern belles that merely glistens in this sweltering mess. And furthermore, I maintain that those are a myth, people! It’s time to get serious about keeping cool, and this recipe, which only requires heat to boil some water and noodles (and a bit of tea), fits the bill pretty much perfectly.
Ninety-nine percent of the ingredients seen here are going towards making the sauce. That you pulse together in your blender. In just a few, short seconds! Do not pass the stove, do not dump it in a pot to be further cooked and reduced, just put the tasty goodness right on your cooked noodles! I know, it’s like, so rebellious, right? But let me go back a few steps first.
One thing that’s for sure, you must appreciate the beautiful color that comes from fresh ingredients like these. Shred up two carrots for the main part and save the fragrant cilantro for a garnish. Don’t like cilantro? Try some basil instead, especially if you can get Thai basil.
I couldn’t believe that my instinct for these sesame seeds being in my spice cabinet were correct. First thing, that spice cabinet is so full at this point, I almost need someone to come in and card catalog the damn thing. Second, WOW, an ingredient I didn’t have to beg sis blogging partner to stop on her way and get. It’s a food blogging miracle!
So, these little sesame seed dudes. Toast ’em on up.
This totally looks like some kind of nefarious, gone-horribly-wrong science experiment. And that’s kind of cool! Relax, tho, it’s just the start of a beautiful sauce and pasta friendship. With beauteous Asian flare!
When the first stage of the sauce is whiiirrrred into a frothy glorious-ness, just add a few more ingredients, notably the ginger, garlic, chili garlic sauce (You are my new stir-fry sauce fave!), sesame oil and most of the toasted sesame seeds. Whiiirrrrrr some more!
This stuff would also, no joke, make a terrific salad dressing. Essentially we’re using it as one anyway. This is like a pasta salad, Asian style.
Throw in those shredded carrots and give it all a good mixing, trying to coat the noodles as evenly as possible. It’s going to seem like a lot of sauce. you could certainly leave some out if you prefer, save it for a traditional lettuce-filled salad. This goes in the fridge now to chill where the sauce will thicken up a lot.
We added lime slices on the side for a little extra zing and kick. I love Pad Thai and figured if lime works well for that, it might here too, and we loved it squeezed on at the last minute. This is a really lovely solution to those horribly hot and humid days. Chilling it in the fridge did not make it seem congealed as one might think. Give it one more good mixing after it comes out of the fridge and serve it up. This would work great all on its own for a vegetarian option or we thought it would be wonderful with some grilled chicken or even shrimp or salmon. However you have it – enjoy!
Cold Peanut-Sesame Noodles
from Food Network
Prep (Chill) Time: 1 hour Cook Time: about 4-8 minutes Level: easy Serves: 4-6
- Kosher salt
- 12 ounces flat Chinese egg noodles
- 3/4 cup strong brewed green tea
- 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned)
- 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup roasted peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, plus more for topping
- 1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
- 1 small clove garlic
- 2 carrots, finely grated
- Chopped fresh cilantro and peanuts, for topping
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook as the label directs, then drain.
Meanwhile, make the sauce: Combine the green tea, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and peanut oil in a blender. Add the sesame seeds, chili-garlic sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt; process until smooth.
Toss the noodles with the peanut sauce and carrots in a large bowl. Chill about 1 hour. Top with cilantro, peanuts and more sesame seeds.
On the roasted peanut oil – I dunno who would actually sell that stuff and couldn’t find it, so we made some. Now, having no “professional” option to compare it to, I can only imagine it was the right thing to do. But toss in a handful of roasted peanuts in pan. Add your one quarter cup oil called for (we used olive oil) and heat over medium heat, swirling the pan so the peanuts don’t burn, until the oil becomes fragrant, like roasted peanuts. This took about ten minutes. The second time I made this recipe, I ended up throwing the cooked peanuts in with the sauce in the blender so they weren’t wasted and they just helped the overall flavor, I think.
If you can’t find any Asian noodles in your market, such as the lo mein ones we used, regular fettuccine is probably the closest you’ll get to in texture. We cooked the noodles al dente. Some did have a bit more stiffer bite after being chilled, but we didn’t mind. Do you know of other specific Asian noodles that might work? We’d love to know!
Make sure to let your green tea and toasted sesame seeds cool a little before adding them to the blender. If you forget, try to remember that your hot sesame seeds might sizzle a little when added to the other blender ingredients. That was a little startling at first. Ahem.